Experts have submitted that solving the problems of power sector in the country will require an effective synergy of legislation and governance as well as conscious effort to demonstrate political will.
They advocated adequate funding and restructuring of the power sector so as to achieve relative stability in electricity generation and distribution.
Speaking during a special session for review of extant laws governing Electricity and Power Sector in Abuja, the Director General of National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS), Ladi Hamalai reiterated the commitment of the leadership of the 8th National Assembly to give priority attention to the power sector.
She charged participants drawn from Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Consumer Protection Council, Federal Ministry of Justice, the Academia, private sector and the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), to come up with fact-based contributions that would help the National Assembly to carry out amendments or repeal of existing laws, where necessary.
“The de-industrialization in Nigeria is as a result of state of power supply. Power sector is so important, once we get it fixed, Nigeria will experience rapid, accelerated and sustainable development that would be comparable to developments in other jurisdictions”, she noted.
In a paper titled, “Legislating Mechanisms for Protecting the Consumer Against Arbitrary Tariff Increment and Other Abuses in the Power Sector”, Presiding Judge of the National Industrial Court, Lagos Division, Justice Ben. Kanyip, called for conscious effort to exercise and demonstrate political will to solve the challenges facing the power sector.
He argued that the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005 is an all-encompassing Act, promulgated to “provide for, among others, the development of competitive electricity market; the establishment of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC; the licensing, and regulation of the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity; the enforcement of such matters as performance standards, consumer rights and obligations; the determination of tariffs among other matters”.
In her presentation themed, “Improving the Electricity Consumers’ Access to Administrative and Judicial Remedies”, the Director General, Consumer Protection Council, Dupe Atoki, called for the immediate abolition of estimated billing and the passage of Competition Law.
She also urged distribution companies to scale-up public education and enlightenment.
Other proposals include, the need to raise the bar of enforcement, arguing that the penalties are unrealistic with current realities.